Thursday, August 23, 2012

Polymerase Chain Reaction

DNA replication is the process that your cells use to copy their genetic blueprint. This occurs every time cells divide, so that each new cell has a complete set of instructions. The process involves unzipping the two complementary strands of the parent DNA, and then using free nucleic acids and an enzyme called a DNA polymerase to construct new strands to pair up with each of the parent strands.

Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, is a process to run this replication artificially in a laboratory. This is often used to analyze DNA samples. Typically analysts get only a very small amount of a DNA sample, and by using PCR they can create a large amount of identical DNA to study. This might be used to identify a blood sample or other evidence at a crime scene, in something like paternity testing, or to identify the DNA of a bacteria or virus to diagnose disease. The Abbott m2000(R) is an automated instrument to run PCR testing to identify various disease agents. Dave and John from briXwerX have made a number of m2000 models on commission for Abbot Molecular.

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